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Extremely difficult workout yesterday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday I decided to kick off the next cycling training program I’m doing, TrainerRoad’s Intermediate Build I. Technically what I did yesterday was the second workout in this plan, as the first workout is a re-testing of my FTP (Functional Threshold Power). I completed the FTP re-test about a week ago, and my new FTP is 294 (3.77 FTP/Kg), which is the highest it’s ever been.

The Intermediate Build I training program consists of 27 workouts spread over over 9 weeks (3 workouts/3.5 hours per week). It has the following focus and objectives:

…our focus on improvement of max sustainable power is split to include more aerobic capacity work (VO2max). These are the shorter, fairly intense efforts that can make or break a rider when the pace kicks up a notch or two, or several.

Training of this nature also has a noticeable positive effect on sustainable power due to the “trickle down” effect of the numerous training adaptations associated with VO2max work.

Riders who aren’t accustomed to this type of intensity can begin to acclimate to working at this very high level of effort and thereby increase their ability to ride more competitively. This training plan also incorporates some less-structured race simulations for variety and pacing practice.

The workout I did yesterday is called “Goethe”, and it’s very similar to the first workout in the Intermediate Base I training program, “Gayley”. Gayley was a tough workout, but Gorthe is even tougher. Gayley consists of 4×8 minute intervals at FTP with 4 minutes active recovery between each interval; Gorthe ratchets the difficulty up in three ways: the threshold intervals are 10 minutes long instead of 8 minutes, the active recovery intervals are just 2 minutes instead of 4 minutes and the third interval is actually slightly above threshold (target sustained power for me was 300 watts, my FTP is 294).

I had to dig deep to complete this workout. I made it, but I had to bury myself to do it. The wheels almost came off the wagon during the last two intervals, but I somehow held it together. Here is the entire workout on TrainerRoad (with all data), and here are my post ride notes:

My workout graph from the "Goethe" workout on TrainerRoad.

My workout graph from the “Goethe” workout on TrainerRoad.

Good grief, I don’t even know where to start with this one. OK, how about this: I hate my new FTP! Today’s 60 minute/19.4 mile workout was “Goethe” (which, by the way, is “Satin” spelled backwards) on TrainerRoad. This workout includes 4×10 minute intervals at or slightly above FTP. Very short 2 minute active recovery intervals are between each working interval. This was my first workout at my new FTP of 294, also I could quickly tell that my legs were not as recovered from Saturday’s 100 mile ride as I thought. I was on the rivet almost from the start, and I have no idea how I made it through all four intervals. I exceeded all power targets, but I sure had to work for it: average heart rate for each of the 10 minute working intervals was 165/170/175/176.

If the workout I did yesterday is a harbinger of what’s in store, I’m in for a world of hurt over the next couple months. There’s no question that when I emerge on the other side of this training plan I’m going to be a much stronger rider than I am now.

Today I’m in the mood for some iron, so no saddle time for me: it’s off to the weight room for some big lifts!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

John Stone Fitness Comments

4 Responses to “Extremely difficult workout yesterday.”
  1. I gotta say that it is nice to read these last couple blogs that you are in fact human. Although I am a little sad cause I wanted you to destroy everyone on the 100 mile ride. I can’t wait for the MTB race coming up. Just wish you could familiarize yourself with the course to make it fair.

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    • Very human. A couple of things to keep in mind here:

      First of all, the 4 Rivers century I did on Saturday was a fun, social ride. While we were pushing each other at various points in the ride, no one was out to crush anyone or turn it into a race. It’s hard to accurately describe the atmosphere, but everyone was joking, relaxed and having a great time.

      As for racing, it’s important to remember I’ve literally never done a cycling race before. While I’ll certainly prepare for races as best as I can, there is no substitute for experience. I’m probably going to get my ass kicked for quite awhile.

      Just judging from the people I know, the people I have ridden with and cyclists I have seen on the local MTB XC & road racing scenes, there are some absolute monster riders around here. I’m confident that with continued hard training and race experience I can eventually be competitive, but many of these guys have been racing bikes their whole lives.

      I’m a competitive person by nature, so you can bet I’ll be riding hard when I race, but it’s also important to keep my expectations realistic.

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